SWISCO - The Replacement Hardware Authority

Ballast Tension

A handy person from Antioch, TN says:
With 167 pages of discussion and no "search" function, I'm going to take a chance on double posting here. I hope no one minds.

I'm looking to replace ballasts that I suspect may have been mistakenly installed at the factory. I assume that the "stamp" options pertain to spring tension. Is this correct, and is it possible that ballast displacement/failure could be remedied by a "step up" in tension, particularly if they were wrongly installed in the first place? Would this involve simply choosing whatever stamp number is higher and available among the choices given on the part order page?

I understand that too much tension makes the window difficult to close, but I'm sure one step up won't be too much. Plus, the possibility of spending $25 as opposed to $250 to have working windows seems worth it.

Is there any other hardware option that might help keep them in place?

Thank you for your assistance.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Good Morning,

To get started, can you please submit a few photos of your window balance so we can take a look? This will give us a better idea of what specific balance you have, therefore allowing us to asses your situation more accurately.
A handy person from Antioch, TN says:
Photos per request: Stamp is 2420.
User submitted photo of channel balance.
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Mike from SWISCO responded:
Take a look at the Series 351 Channel Balance.

Can you give us the length of the channel portion of the balance? I'm thinking it should be 25".

Also, take a look at the bottom shoe attachment on the Series 351, the 15-002 Shoe. Compare the measurements of your attachment to the ones listed online.
A handy person from Antioch, TN says:
25" is correct. I had guessed series 390 with the 15-001, because it's shoe looked to have more similarly rounded bottom-front corners. However, now that I measure, the 15-001 doesn't seem right, either. The 15-003 bottom dimension of 1 3/16" looks right, but it doesn't give the front slope. It looks like mine is 1 1/8". I'm glad I asked before ordering.
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Mike from SWISCO responded:
I am a little confused, do you not think the 15-002 is the shoe you have?

Here are some more dimensions of the 15-003 shoe.
Profile view of the <a href=15-003 channel balance shoe.' />
A handy person from Antioch, TN says:
I am quite sure that it isn't the 15-002, since the bottom dimension of mine is 1 3/16", while that of the 15-002 is 1", according to the illustration. Sorry for not being clear. I think I see why you were confused.

Thank you for the additional info on the 15-003. It definitely looks like the one I need, the only problem being that the ballasts that use this shoe(series 710) don't use the top I need.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
The depth of the shoe is the most critical measurement.

We can custom make any balance you want. Here is a custom order balance form for a 25" balance with a 19-002 top and a 15-003 shoe with the option 2420.
A handy person from Antioch, TN says:
Thank you for your help. Actually the main purpose of my initial query was to determine whether an increase in tension would be appropriate, and more specifically, if it might help prevent displacement/dislodging, as these have undergone, thus necessitating their replacement. I also mentioned suspecting mistaken installation at the factory, but I checked one of the other windows and it has the same ballast. Is there still any reason to try a different tension (assuming that the 4 digit stamp correlates)?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
The life cycle of a channel balance is about 5 - 10 years, regardless of what weight you choose.
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